6th March 2009

Ann Keen MP champions the development of a national dataset for LTNCs

Ann Keen MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health Services, gives her support for the development of Minimum Dataset for Long-Term Neurological Conditions

On 24 February, a debate on epilepsy was sponsored at the House of Commons by Chris McCafferty MP. Ann Keen MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health Services, participated in this debate, expressing the Government’s commitment to the development and implementation of a national Minimum Dataset for Long-Term Neurological Conditions.

The Neurological Alliance strongly endorses the importance of the minimum dataset; in fact we believe that ensuring routine collection of data on neurological conditions will be a critical foundation stone in achieving effective commissioning for the 10 million people in the UK with a neurological condition. That is why the Neurological Alliance and our member organisations have devoted so much energy to the development of the dataset and why we have chosen campaigning for routine data collection as our main focus for 2009.

Development of the dataset has been slow and difficult, however, we are delighted that there is now broad agreement on the datapoints and on a process for achieving implementation. We are grateful for Ann Keen’s commitment to this really important work. Below is a quote from Ann’s speech:

”I have emphasised the importance of effective commissioning in delivering high-quality, accessible services. However, an often-voiced concern is that without robust data PCTs cannot effectively plan and commission services. The development of a national dataset is a key part of the programme of work needed to support the implementation of the national service framework for long-term conditions. My hon. Friend will be aware that the NSF published in 2005 focuses on improving services across England for a range of neurological conditions, including epilepsy.

When implemented, the dataset will be used at a national level to monitor the achievement of NSF standards and quality requirements. The dataset will also support secondary use functions. At a local level, it will be used by clinicians and managers for commissioning, clinical audit and research and performance management, and it will help to drive up standards and the quality of care.”

To read the full debate, visit:

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